I bought a small present for a colleague who left Henley Centre HeadlightVision last week. Specifically, since we’d done a lot of workshops together, I bought her a copy of Robert Chambers’ book Participatory Workshops. There may be better books out there on workshop facilitation, but not better value books.
The idea that the globalising wave of the last quarter of a century was mostly built on cheap energy and easy money is one that we’re now getting the opportunity to test. So far, the hypothesis is holding up. In particular, according to a story in this week’s Daily Telegraph, high energy costs seem to be having a significant impact on China’s low-cost manufacturing sectors. At the same time, Paul Krugman has been niggling away at the underlying economics. After all, as the French are supposed to say: That’s all very well in practice, but how does it look in theory?
A short post to note the latest UN refugee data (pdf), which shows a worldwide increase in 2007 of 3m – almost 10% -in the number of refugees forced from their home by conflict. It is a second successive increase after a period of decline. The UN describes the data as ‘unprecedented’, and says it will get worse. And according to the Commissioner climate change is now one of the significant sources of conflict: while this seems plausible, the report doesn’t address this issue, for reasons which are discussed below the fold. The report does, however, underline the extent to which refugees end up as a regional problem – in their own region.